Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mobile TV Market Forecast Roundup - Take 2

A few months ago, I posted an item which summarized the results of several mobile TV market research reports. In the past few weeks, we have been flooded again by numerous market research reports describing the current status and the future prospects of Mobile TV. And yet again, the numbers and opinions are highly varied, ranging from total lack of interest in this service to full-blown, mass-market user adoption.

Most optimistic of all is IMS Research, which forecasted that 446 million people will be watching TV on their cell phones by 2011. This forecast was characterized by Digital-Lifestyles as over-optimistic, in their post "446m Mobile Phones TV User By 2011? We Consider", and was also challenged by TelecomWeb's Wireless Business Forecast, with the headline "446M Mobile-TV Viewers By 2011: Who Makes These Numbers?". Juniper Research also joined the optimistic camp, forecasting $11.7B worldwide revenues for Mobile TV, lead by the US and Japan.

On the more pessimistic side, a poll by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg found that only 14% of young adults and teenagers in the US were interested in watching TV on their cellular phones. This directly contradicts a recent market research by Quaestor, which found that 87% of 10-12 year old children in the UK would like to watch TV on their cellular phones - is the cultural difference that big?

Still in the UK, Paul Trotter posted a column in PC Pro stating "Mobile TV is heading for a fall". IDC is somewhere in the middle: On one hand, it issued a press release titled "No Clear Demand for Mobile TV in Western Europe", and on the other hand a Cellular News item titled "Substantial Market Expansion for Mobile TV Services" quotes IDC's forecast for 24M mobile TV and video users in the USA by 2010, up from 7M this year.


Itai Frenkel said...

Dror, great blog ! I need to rewind back and start reading from the beginning. Keep up the good blog!

Do you still have the forcasts of these guys regarding the mobile video phone service 10 years ago? (sigh)

I recall that Bill Gates once talked about screen form factors. Has this aspect been answered yet.

Forcasting Mobile TV is even harder - because one needs to forcast where people will spend their "free" time in 2011 (If I spend all of my free time at home then I do not need MobileTV, but if I spend most of my time in a car - bingo. But if I am the driver - bad things can happen).

Forcasting Mobile TV is even even harder harder. If it's not live - maybe short videos from YouTube will take over commercial broadcast shows? In that case I would prefer Mobile WiMax.

(2nd sigh...)

Roni Segoly said...


Found your blog while reading my daily stuff about mobile TV trends.

Great stuff and keep on the review.

I am sure the mobile TV will 'fly' although it is not clear yet, what is the meaning of mobile TV. In any case the trend we see now is users want to see their content everywhere and whenever they feel like. The mobile devices are strong enough even now, the screen resolution is getting better, and also storage capacity, so once there is a demand, there will be services. Of course it will not replace the big screen TV at home, or even your PC, but the content we will see on mobile is content that is more dedicated for the commuting person - short, focused, sport events, news, clips. We will also see content prepared for mobile like short episodes series with less scenery and more focusing on faces.

The obstacles are still
Telcos prefer to focus on voice or charge by traffic, and keep users in walled garden, and they control the network
DRM - even though its despised word to some, only flexible and reliable solution, ensuring content owners will make money, will enable the real content to find its way to mobile as well.

Any how interesting period.


Bruce Renny said...

Great blog! Now there's the first free mobile TV service - - it wil be interesting to see how the projections change...

Dror Gill said...

FreeBeTV is a free mobile TV service, but it doesn't have mainstream content such as CNN, ABC, MTV, ESPN, HBO, etc. Mobile Broadcast TV services will have such content, and it will have its price.